Cast Iron Chicago-Style Pepperoni Pan Pizza
Why This Recipe Works
Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is known for its special tender crust, which is crisp on the bottom and chewy in the middle. To make a dough with just the right consistency, we used milk instead of water, which also gave the crust a richer flavor. While whole milk is fine, we found that skim milk helped the dough rise better and bake up especially soft and light. Kneading the dough in a stand mixer also helped it attain a perfect chewy-yet-plush texture. A cast-iron skillet was the perfect cooking vessel for our deep-dish pizza: It evenly distributed heat from the oven to the dough, producing a browned and crisp crust across the bottom and edges, and its tall sides made it the ideal vessel for this thick, layered type of pizza. For the toppings, we precooked the pepperoni in our skillet to drive off excess grease. We followed Chicago tradition and layered the cheese underneath the sauce and pepperoni, with an added sprinkle of Parmesan on top of the pie for even more pronounced cheesy flavor.